Matt Gambill Interview Part I

Last time Matt Gambill of All Pro Scouting joined us for a chat, where fans of every team made an appearance. Now we have the pleasure of his services targeting the San Diego Chargers Draft specifically as he sits down to talk with me. With the one on one session, we have been able to get serious answers on the Chargers Draft and answers to the Quentin Jammer comment he made during that chat.

DENIS SAVAGE: First off thank you Matt for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us. Charger fans across the nation have been anxious to her what is going on in regards to the Draft. Tell me a little bit about All-Pro Scouting Services, and a little bit about yourself.

MATT GAMBILL: Well All-Pro Scouting is something I started three and a half years ago, something basically was an online resume to be totally honest. What it has done is totally balloon into something bigger and better than I had ever imagined. Now we are used by 23 of the 32 teams who subscribe to the website. We provide a lot of independent information for a lot of personnel around the league. It's something that really caught me off guard to be quite honest. Three and a half years ago if you would have told me it would be like this I would have said, nah, you're crazy. But there is a need for information in the NFL… guys like myself and when Joel Buschbaum was still around, Pro Football Weekly, was considered probably at the top of the game.

DENIS SAVAGE: That is true, Joel was fantastic. There is no denying that.

MATT GAMBILL: Joel was a great guy, and I knew him really well. It was a shame that happened.

DENIS SAVAGE: You can still see some of his influence this year, but you are right it is a shame, and we will miss his insight.

MATT GAMBILL: There is no question, he made pro Football Weekly what it is today and that is why he got paid the big bucks. Nobody was thought more highly of in that arena then Joel was. Joel was fantastic, preseason, during the season, he was great all the way around.

DENIS SAVAGE: So who was the prospect that you look back on now and say ‘Hey you know, I called that.' Who was your greatest find?

MATT GAMBILL: I couldn't just pick one. In years past there have been guys who kind of snuck around, been bottom feeders, than all of a sudden the light clicks on and they go off and I am usually quick to uncover these small school kids. Last year I saw success with Dante Wesley a fourth round pick out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Nobody could have told you thing one about him. Joseph Jefferson, Mel Mitchell, guys like that I was on top of last year. So that is my bread and butter, finding these guys. This year Pisa Tinoisamoa was an unknown commodity. We had him up there really early. We had Chaun Thompson of West Texas A&M. Anybody who has been to the site since August or September can tell you that for sure.

DENIS SAVAGE: I have been to the site plenty of times and see it all the time. Some guys who I am thinking…Who? Who is that?

MATT GAMBILL: When we get the spring reports from everybody we usually are quick to get on the telephone and get to the strength coaches and the position coaches at the different colleges and question them about those kids we have been hearing good things about. Then we request the film, and once they give me the film, I form my own opinion from there.

DENIS SAVAGE: So most of your time is watching film, or going to the games?

MATT GAMBILL: I probably would say looking at film. I have an office in the back of my house that has been turned into a film library. Three walls are covered with shelves and there is nothing but film covering the last five years probably. I have a pretty extensive film library from some of these cats.

DENIS SAVAGE: I am going to put you on the spot now. Recently you were in the chat over at Bernie's Insiders, QJ, Quentin Jammer was garbage in your words, and should play free safety. Now a lot of people came back to me regarding that question. You want to elaborate on that.

MATT GAMBILL: Sure I would be more than happy too. I had Quentin Jammer rated as the number four cornerback in the Draft. I was also very clear in stating, had he stayed at safety in Texas, which is where he started off as his first two years, if he would have stayed at free safety and developed that part of his game, he would have been a number one rated free safety last year and perennial Pro Bowler. I don't think he has the instincts, I don't think he has the feel to be a man-to-man cover corner. You are out in San Diego and you know, if you follow Marty Schottenheimer, he puts his cornerbacks out on an island. You have to have superior man coverage. This is not a Dale Carter, when Dale was in his prime. He is a very good athlete, he has good size. I think the best attribute for him as a corner, is he can play the press coverage really well and I really like the way he holds the corner in run support. I just think if you put him at free safety and let him be that rangy player in the secondary, usually your best athletes are at free safety because they have to cover all that ground. I think that his success when it all said and done, and hey last year he had an average rookie season let's face it.

DENIS SAVAGE: Hold on, he missed all of training camp.

MATT GAMBILL: Sure he missed training camp, he was a little wet behind the ears.

DENIS SAVAGE: We are talking about a guy who missed training camp, missed the first two games of the year, and made his debut in Arizona in week 3. Really he only had one full week of practice before they put him in.

MATT GAMBILL: Sure I think he was learning on the fly. I think he can be a very good cornerback in this league. Philip Buchanon was my number one rated cornerback last year and he was the entire season. I never had Jammer as the number one prospect at any point during the season.

DENIS SAVAGE: Ok so who else did you have rated above him. You said you had him rated fourth.

MATT GAMBILL: I had Buchanon was one, Mike Rumph was two, took a hit on that one. He might have to move to free safety after last year, but it is good for him too, he had to learn on the fly and he will be better for it. He is a bump and run corner, he needs to play physical and they had him playing off the ball. And Dante Wesley from Pine Bluff was three followed by Quentin and then there was Joseph Jefferson. Dante Wesley missed the first five games because he had groin surgery and then came back and my guys out in Carolina just raved about him and they thought at seasons end he was one of the top five nickel backs in the league. The jury is still out. The scouting process, you really cannot judge these kids for three or four years. So the jury is still out on Philip, on Quentin. I mean Buchanon missed ten games with a broken wrist.

DENIS SAVAGE: He was still pretty stellar during the time he played.

MATT GAMBILL: He was fantastic. I think Quentin can be a good cornerback, nothing special. I think he could be a very special free safety.

DENIS SAVAGE: Ok I will come back in a few years to see who is right.

Tomorrow we look into the Chargers first round pick and what to do with it as well as player visits among the many topics we covered.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net or via the following link:: Denis Savage

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